The first post-credits scene of Eternals gave us the official introduction of Harry Styles' Eros/Starfox and Patton Oswalt's Pip the Troll to the MCU. Fans were happy when the singer-actor made his appearance as it hints him as possibly one of the major players in the franchise moving forward. But there were also fans who are taken aback by the CGI look of Pip the Troll as it wasn't on par with most of the wonderful VFX works that the MCU films have done. As it turns out, there is an explanation for that.
In an interview with TheWrap, Eternals VFX supervisor Stephane Ceretti revealed that the film originally had a different ending and Pip the Troll was a late addition in the process. He explained, "And we shot that during the additional photography. It was a different ending."
Then, Ceretti revealed what the original ending was. "It was still with Harry Styles actually, but it was in the spaceship with all the other Eternals," he said. "It was a little bit more sad, and not as exciting in a way, so it didn’t kind of resonate. Chloe [Zhao] had that idea of bringing Pip the troll, as his sidekick for the end of the movie. We did that pretty quick at the end."
Matt Aiken, the WETA Digital VFX supervisor, added, "And so, just try trying different things out. And I think I might have said to you at one point, Steph, we’re getting close to our hard out. We need this much time. If we’re going to change the design again, and build the facial rig, and get all the nuances of the facial performance, we’re going to need to have that approval of the design right here. And then I think we went way past that."
Ceretti concluded, "We were way past that. I was like, “Guys, we got to go. We really got to go. But what if we try this. We got to go. Try this. Okay, we’ll try this.” We’ve all been there, but I mean, in the end you’re putting, for the first time, a CG character next to Harry Styles. And you’re thinking, “Hmm, Harry Styles is going to be hard to beat.” It is what it is. I still think it’s a fun moment. I still think it’s a lot of opportunities for fun stories later down the line. I hope it’s a character we’re going to see more, because he’s hilarious. What’s hilarious is that Patton has agreed to do it. And I think the best thing, there’s so many good possibilities because of that. And Harry doing that too is just freaking cool."
This explains why you might find Pip the Troll's CGI wasn't as polished as the rest of the effects in the film or the other CGI characters in the MCU since it turns out that the VFX team was racing against time and did what they can do given the circumstance. Even though the character's CGI might not be as polished as we wish it could be, it can still be improved if he ever does appear again in a future MCU film or TV show. For sure, a lot of fans would love to see Pip and Eros again together as they had a good banter during that short moment.
Eternals is currently streaming on Disney+.